More college students are receiving loans, grants and other financial aid than at any time since the debut of the GI bill after World War II, new data show.
Seventy-one percent of all undergraduate students received some type of financial aid in the 2011-12 academic year, up from 66 percent four years earlier (2007-08), data released by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) show. The average amount was $10,800, up from $9,000 four years earlier.
Most of the increase in student aid is coming from federal sources. Last year, 57 percent of undergraduates received some form of federal aid, including grants, loans and work-study funds, up from 47 percent four years earlier. Over the same period, the percentage of undergraduates receiving state aid or help from their college remained relatively flat, at 15 percent and 21 percent, respectively.
Other findings from the 2011-12 academic year:
• 59 percent of undergraduates received grants averaging $6,200, up from 51 percent four years earlier when the average was $4,800.
• 42 percent of undergraduates took out loans, borrowing an average of $7,100, up from 39 percent who borrowed $7,000 on average.
• 70 percent of graduate students received aid, averaging $22,000, including loans.